1.Work is moving away from the office. A recent New York Times article on telecommuting noted that a 2013 survey for the Society for Human Resource Management found “a greater increase in the number of companies planning to offer telecommuting in 2014 than those offering just about any other new benefit.”
2. Workers are moving from traditional employment to freelancing. Forbes offered “Five Reasons Half of You Will be Freelancers in 2020,” citing the rise of online marketplaces, the ubiquity of technology that empowers remote work, the burgeoning size of the freelance economy, workers’ desire for flexibility and control over their work, and opportunities for individuals to promote themselves.
3. Consumer demand for authenticity gives small entrepreneurs a marketplace edge. A Forbes post asked, “Can Homemade Goods Become the Global Brands of Tomorrow?” Farmers markets, artisan foods, and the maker movement can all be seen as responses to consumers’ desires for authentic offerings from “real people.” Forbes contributor John Owrid points out that, “Inevitably, big business is attempting to fight back by putting more emphasis on the ‘real’ and ‘genuine’ in their goods. But for the moment the force appears to be with the DIYers.”
Corporate workers are working away from the office, freelancers are forsaking the corporate world altogether, and artisans crafting goods and services may even have an upper hand on big business when it comes to creating the authentic offerings consumers are seeking.
It’s worth noting that Foresight Alliance has already crossed several of these bridges. We are a virtual organization in which all of the partners telecommute in a partnership work format. While we’re not exactly freelancers, several of us have left the corporate world to pursue a smaller, more independent vision. And we certainly aim to be skilled artisans in our chosen trade and to offer foresight services that are second to none.